Padang Bay is a small, sleepy Balinese village on the east coast of the island. Most people only come here to take the boat to Lombok, but those that stay a couple of days and give this area a chance often fall in love with it.
It’s a great spot for who are looking to enjoy the beach life. Gorgeous beaches, great snorkeling and diving, along with affordable accommodation and food make is perfect for backpackers or budget travelers.
Scuba Diving Sites Near Padang Bai
Padang Bai has some awesome scuba and snorkel spots right off the shoreline. There are several dive operators in the area happy to show you the best of Padang Bai’s underwater world.
Here are Padang Bai’s dive sites:
- The Channel: A nice slope dotted with caves where you can often see napping whitetip reef sharks. Best for advanced divers as around 18m is where you’ll find the good stuff.
- Tanjung Sari: A gentle slope with lots of coral and reef fish. Good for macro diving and night dives.
- Tanjung Jepun: The best dive site in Padang Bai for macro. Plenty of frog fish here as well as numerous blue spotted sting rays. If you are lucky, you may see a coral cat shark here on a night dive.
- Blue Lagoon: The best-known dive site in all of Padang Bai. Perfect for divers of all levels, and great both during the day and at night. Lots of coral and reef fish. At night, you may even get to see the elusive Spanish dancer.
- Bias Tugel: At only about 10m, this is a shallow dive around a picturesque coral plateau. Used mostly for training and for budding underwater photographers.
Padang Bai is also a great base for exploring eastern Bali’s main sites, temples, and attractions. So if you are keen to explore, consider renting a motorbike or hiring a private driver to show you around the area.
How to Get to Padang Bai
Padang Bai is located in eastern Bali, about 90 minutes from Denpasar airport. The easiest way to arrive is by taxi or private driver, though it is also the most expensive. However, if you are travelling with your own dive gear and big luggage it’s your best bet.
You can also find a bus from Denpasar to Padang Bai. The company to look for is Perama and they offer pickups from Sanur, Kuta, and Ubud. However, there have been reports that this shuttle bus requires a minimum of two travellers to the same destination.
A third option is to take the local bemo- an open air mini bus that the locals use and rely on. These are the cheapest options (though you will need to haggle) but are often very crowded and may require transfers.
Once you arrive, everything is within walking distance. If you plan on using Padang Bai as a base to explore more of eastern Bali, you can easily find motorbikes for rent or drivers for hire.
Things to do in Padang Bai
- Beaches: Padang Bai has a couple of beautiful beaches, perfect for lounging, swimming, and soaking up the sun. Try Blue Lagoon beach (also great for snorkeling) or Bias Tugal Beach which is known for its beautiful white sand.
- City Temples: Padang Bai is home to five major temples. They are: Pura Dalem, Pura Segara, Pura Telagamas, Pura Silayukti, and Pura Tanjungsari. Pura Silayukti is the best known of these five, and one of the oldest temples in Bali. It dates back to the 11th century and was once home to a great Hindu sage named Empu Kuturan.
- Goa Lawah: One of Bali’s direction temples, Goa Lawah dates back to the 11th century and is built around a massive cave full of fruit bats. Visit at sunset to see the bats leave.
- Massage/Spa: If you just want to relax, then go to the spa or get a massage. Like with the rest of Bali, massages in Padang Bai are very affordable.
Where to Stay in Padang Bai
Padang Bai caters mostly to the backpacker and budget travel market with plenty of cheap and basic accommodation options along the beachfront. There are some more upscale spots as well closer to the town center (this is often because they are higher on the hill and offer spectacular views). It’s also worth seeing if your chosen dive operator has an accommodation option available, or somewhere they recommend (and may even have a deal with) nearby.
Padang Bai is a small little town, but if you give it a chance, this dreamy little spot will win a place in your heart.